A TORY hereditary peer who oversaw the award of Covid contracts appears to have "mysteriously discovered" text messages which he claimed had disappeared amid a spat with Michelle Mone. 

It came after the baroness hit back at Lord James Bethell, who had accused her of not being honest about her financial interests on Twitter/X. 

He shared a text message from October 2020 where he said she did not explain about her financial involvement with PPE Medpro, a firm that supplied millions of pounds of personal protective equipment (PPE) to the government.

Bethell insisted it was right for Rishi Sunak to take the issue “very seriously”, as he vowed on Monday, after Mone had admitted lying to the media about her links to the firm.

But Mone has hit back asking if Bethell will now send his text messages to the Covid inquiry after he had “mysteriously discovered” them.

READ MORE: When Michelle Mone put The National 'on legal notice'

In 2021, Bethell came under scrutiny over the way deals for PPE and tests were allocated at the height of the pandemic.

It emerged he replaced his mobile phone that year before it could be searched for information relevant to £85 million of deals for antibody tests to Abingdon Health that were subject to legal challenge.

The Good Law Project wrote to the Government to ask for the messages to be retrieved and preserved but were "stunned" to receive a response with Bethell claiming his phone was "lost" so he couldn't hand it over.

In the text message shared by Bethell, the baroness said: “As you know every country has different requirements. The team at PPE Medpro have asked for information on what the criteria is for the UK Covid test kits in terms of safety & quality.

“They will then email you the relevant documentation along with the certificates.

“Their manufacturing capacity at the moment is 15 million kits a day.”

When Bethell shared the message – which he said was “typical” of Mone – she shared the post saying: “Hi @JimBethell. You seem to have mysteriously discovered access to your text messages from 2020.

“Now you’ve finally found them, will you be sending them to the Covid inquiry?”

She finished her post with a popcorn emoji.

READ MORE: Michelle Mone Einstein claim video goes viral - reaction

Bethell had said: “She didn't explain 'from the very beginning' about her financial 'involvement'.

“Her message below was typical. It wasn’t in her Register of Interests, as you’d expect it.

“Rishi Sunak is right to take this ‘very seriously’.”

The Twitter spat comes after Mone – who lost the Tory whip – attacked Sunak on Monday saying she was “honest” with the government, insisting it knew about her involvement with PPE Medpro.

In an interview with the BBC's Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg programme, she conceded she stands to benefit from the profits made by PPE Medpro, which is owned by her husband.

The SNP has insisted that neither Tories or Mone can be let off the hook, with deputy Westminster leader Mhairi Black insisting “there must be consequences”.

“Mone was a Conservative member, Conservative peer, and benefited in millions of pounds from this unscrupulous Conservative government – that cannot be forgotten or ignored,” said Black.

The National revealed on Monday how Mone – who appears to no longer be a member of the Conservative Party – put the newspaper on “legal notice” when it revealed she believed Albert Einstein had lived in her home in Park Circus, Glasgow.